Each year, the Envision Board awards grants from the Envision Fund to serve as seed money for projects that will enrich the ministry and life of the church. These projects serve a wide variety of people, from the congregation here at CPC to the local, national, and international communities. We evaluate proposals for funding in the categories of Development, Mission, Peace and Justice Advocacy, and Capital Improvements.
This year marks a significant milestone in the history of the Envision Fund. This is our 5th year of doing these grants, and with this year’s projects we’ve now surpassed half a million dollars in total awards over the lifetime of the fund. This money will touch thousands, if not tens of thousands, of lives — here at CPC; through local ministries here in Catonsville and our surrounding counties; nationally through partnerships with PC-USA and the Johnson C. Smith Seminary; and internationally through projects in Nepal, Haiti, Tanzania, Nigeria, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. I thank God for the life and witness of Robert Riley, whose bequest established the Envision Fund; for the support of Session and the congregation; and especially for the dedicated work of everybody on the Envision Board, the Finance Committee, and our church office staff who make these awards possible.
This year we had $140,000 available to distribute, and received 11 applications requesting a total of over $380,000. Of those, we were able to award funding to 6 projects for a total of $140,000:
Repairing and Upgrading CPC’s Pipe Organ
Capital Improvement; $53,283, full funding
Our church’s pipe organ is integral to our worship experience, and the electronics that control its operation are reaching the end of their useful lifespan. As a result it’s become increasingly expensive to maintain over the last few years. Our funds will allow us to replace this aging equipment with a modern system that will greatly improve its reliability and operation for many years to come. This project was submitted by Douglas Heist.
Development; $13,670, full funding
Session recently approved plans for the construction of a columbarium on the church grounds to serve as a resting place for the remains of members of our church family who choose to be cremated. Before construction begins, we must get approval for the project from the Baltimore County zoning board. Envision funds will be used to hire an engineering firm and a law firm to support us in this process. This project was submitted by Deborah Anderson on behalf of the Columbarium Committee.
Epiphany Community Center Volunteer Coordinator
Development/Mission/Peace & Justice; $20,000, partial funding
Epiphany Church is based in Timonium, and has been active for many years advocating against discriminatory housing practices and working to ensure access to affordable housing in Baltimore County. Though their Community Center, they provide help to families in crisis through programs designed to develop the skills for financial independence. The new volunteer coordinator will allow them to expand these programs to reach more families in need. This project was submitted by Rev. Kristofer Lindh-Payne of Epiphany Church and sponsored by Alison Enokian of CPC.
Bridges to Housing Stability Volunteer Coordinator
Bridges to Housing Stability provides support services and affordable housing for working families in Howard County, and our church has a long-standing relationship with Bridges through our past participation in the chili cook-off. Today, Bridges actually has to turn away prospective volunteers because they don’t have the capacity to train and supervise them. The volunteer coordinator comes through a one-year program with AmeriCorps, and will work with Bridges to establish a self-sustaining program to onboard new volunteers, to strengthen and expand their services. This project was submitted by Jennifer Broderick of Bridges to Housing Stability and sponsored by Reid Spearman of CPC.
CEA Stairway Reconstruction
Catonsville Emergency Assistance, an organization with deep ties to our church, provides food, and eviction & utility cutoff prevention to families in Catonsville. Volunteers must carry food up and down a steep and narrow staircase between their storage and delivery areas, hundreds of times a week. Through the reconstruction of this staircase, our funds will help provide a safe environment for staff, volunteers, and clients at CEA. This project was submitted by Bonnie Harry of CEA and sponsored by Maureen Parkhurst of CPC.
Grace AME Women’s Outreach Building Improvements
The Grace AME Church’s Women’s Outreach Society of Catonsville operates a food pantry and clothes closet out of an old two-story house next to their church building. In 2018, they provided food and clothing to households totaling nearly 20,000 family members. Our funds will finance improvements to the building to enhance its comfort, safety, and accessibility by enclosing the front porch; replacing doors and windows; and installing a ramp from the street to the front porch. CPC partnered with Grace AME for a Thanksgiving food drive last year, and we’re excited to strengthen our relationship with another church here in Catonsville. This project was submitted by Robin Price of Grace AME and sponsored by Nancy Henderson of CPC.
The Envision Board is truly excited to see God’s will at work through so many wonderful projects, and thanks all those who submitted proposals for their time and effort.